The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (Oct. 25-31). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community is doing to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system.
Today, we are featuring Casey Burton, associate attorney in the Dallas office of Sidley Austin LLP.
Burton has engaged in extensive pro bono legal representation of individuals with intellectual disabilities and related conditions. In particular, he has been instrumental in co-counseling with Disability Rights Texas, a nonprofit legal advocacy agency, in a class action lawsuit against the State of Texas in Steward vs. Texas. Sidley attorneys Yvette Ostolaza and Rob Velvis also are involved with the case.
Steward vs. Texas concerns thousands of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities who plaintiffs argue were inappropriately placed and are now languishing in Texas nursing facilities, deprived of their right under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to choose to live in their communities.
The plaintiffs are represented by three law firms: The Center for Public Representation, Disability Rights Texas, and Sidley Austin LLP. Burton has been instrumental in litigating the Steward vs. Texas case through his tireless work drafting and amending the petition, getting the class certified, defending motions to dismiss, and navigating extensive electronic discovery. He has been indispensable to the case and invaluable in negotiating an interim settlement agreement that freed up more than 300 slots for housing outside of the Texas nursing facilities.
“Casey’s commitment to both our clients and to ensuring persons with disabilities receive the supports and services needed to successfully live and work in the community has been quite remarkable,” said Garth Corbett, senior litigation attorney at Disability Rights Texas. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of his caliber devoting so much of his time and expertise to our case.”
Show You Care: If your firm would like to learn how it can contribute to the pro bono community, please contact the State Bar of Texas Legal Access Division at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1855, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return to the Texas Bar Blog each day this week to read about another Texas pro bono volunteer making a difference in the lives of others.